Cryptocurrency doesn’t just end at finance. It is also making its mark with longevity research and anti-ageing technology. In a video, Aubrey de Grey, president of the Longevity Escape Velocity Foundation, recently shared his insights with Yahoo Finance. He discussed the role of crypto’s top CEOs in driving funding for this sector.
Crypto Community’s Support
De Grey spoke on the crypto community’s support for both non-profit initiatives and investment ventures in the longevity sector. He mentioned influential figures like Hex’s Richard Heart, Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, and Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson. They are all engaged in both non-profit initiatives and investment ventures within the sector.
Brian Armstrong, co-founder of Coinbase, created a company called New Limited, which he put around of £50 million into. Charles Hoskinson, from Cardano, has created an anti-ageing clinic in Wyoming,” de Gray added.
Contributions from the Cryptocurrency Sector
On the non-profit side of anti-ageing research, several donors from the cryptocurrency sector have contributed significantly. “The biggest and most conspicuous example in that regard is the Hex community, the community of people who made their money out of the cryptocurrency called Hex, led by Richard Heart,” said De Grey.
According to a report, the longevity sector is experiencing increasing momentum and is projected to reach a market size of around £36 billion by 2030. Capital inflow into the field has surged, with notable contributions from individuals like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and substantial investments from sovereign wealth funds.
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Sovereign Wealth Funds’ Involvement
De Grey pointed out that sovereign wealth funds, especially from the Middle East and the Far East, have started to get involved. Saudi Arabia’s goal of investing around £1 billion annually has inspired other nations to follow suit.
The Treatment of Ageing
De Grey advocated for a shift in the approach to ageing. He stressed that there should be no distinction between age-related diseases and aging itself. Also, he mentioned the need for treatments that target multiple age-related conditions.
He praised the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the “Time Trial”, which tests the effectiveness of metformin against various age-related conditions. “The trial hasn’t even begun yet because of funding difficulties,” he added.
Longevity Research Focus
De Grey emphasised that researchers are increasingly shifting their attention to late-life interventions in animals when they are already well into their natural lifespan. “In order to extend the lifespan of mice significantly, we must focus on rejuvenation,” he said.
Strategies for Longevity Research
“We are combining various interventions in the same mice concurrently, with the hope of observing a much more substantial increase in both health and lifespan,” de Grey further elaborated on their strategies.
De Grey addressed his skepticism towards anti-aging research and a lingering fatalistic perspective on ageing. He coined it as “ageing trance,” explaining that people often object to the idea of extending human lifespan due to fear of potential adverse consequences.
Bryan Johnson’s Quest for Youth
Bryan Johnson, a 45-year-old tech entrepreneur from Utah, is on a mission to reverse the ageing process. Raised in the Church of Latter Day Saints, Johnson made his fortune by selling his payment-processing company, Braintree, to eBay for $800 million. He then founded Kernel, a company that builds hardware to measure brain activity, and launched Project Blueprint, an initiative aimed at reversing the ageing of his organs.
Johnson’s quest for youth is both a lot of work and expensive. His daily routine includes a strict diet, an hour of exercise, and taking more than two dozen supplements. He also undergoes hundreds of measurements annually, including BMI, blood glucose, physical fitness, MRIs, and ultrasounds. This intense regime costs Johnson around $2 million a year. Despite the downfalls, Johnson finds great satisfaction in his mission. He said, “It’s very hard to understand that I might derive more pleasure from doing this than I would anything else”.